India Beats Rest Of World With First Solar-Powered Airport

A soaring example.

A city in India's Kerala province is taking renewable energy to a new level. By May 2016, Cochin International Airport Limited will be powered entirely by solar energy, making it the first solar-powered airport in the world.

The airport is the country's fourth largest in traffic and will embark on a 12 megawatt (MW) solar power project, an expansion from its current 1 MW capacity. That translates to 46,150 solar panels across 45 acres near the airport's cargo complex. 

The new installations will be able to produce 600,000 units of electricity, more than the airport currently needs to operate, and the surplus will go to the state's grid.

"Over the next 25 years," a statement from CIAL said, "this green power project will avoid carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired power plants by more than 3 lakh metric tons, which is equivalent to planting 3 million trees or not driving 750 miles."

"We did not want to be identified as just another airport and be confined to it," VJ Kurian, the airports's managing director, told Quartz.

Cochin isn't the only airport in India that's quickly going green. Kolkata's Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport plans to devote 60 acres of land to at 15MW solar farm that will meet a quarter of its electricity requirements.